How to explain content marketing to your boss

Having to explain content marketing to the boss is a struggle that most marketing bods go through at some point.explain_content_marketing

It’s understandable; content marketing can be a hefty investment of time and resources, and calculating ROI can be tricky. It’s an area some may not fully understand, fail to see the return on, and therefore consider worthless. But we know this just isn’t true!

That’s why we’ve compiled a quick, how-to guide to help our marketing friends put their bosses straight… In a polite, respectful way, of course! Check it out.

How to explain content marketing to your boss:

1. Be clear on what it is before you go to their office

If you’re not sure what content marketing is, there’s no way your boss will be. Here’s a quick definition to help you out:

Content marketing: ‘The creation and sharing of a range of online materials to stimulate interest in products or services. However, it is not promotional.’

Know that by offering quality information, content marketing will inspire customers to become loyal to your brand and will probably mean purchase further down the line. It’s a long game, but one you can certainly win!

2. Get comfortable, take a seat and emphasise it’s educational, not promotional

Start here, because this is the thing most bosses don’t ‘get’. They’ve spent so long desperately trying to persuade people to buy their product, all they know is the hard-sell.

Educational content is key to a successful marketing strategy. Two thirds of consumers prefer content that educates and informs, rather than promotes a specific product.

It may seem weird to only have a tangential tie-in to your product, but trust us it’ll work. Here are just some of the benefits you’ll see:

  • Your audience will get what it wants, improving relationships and keeping customers happy
  • PR opportunities will be generated (speaking positions at conferences, webinars and for industry publications)
  • Content will be more ‘shareable’, increasing your following
  • The chance of more qualified leads will be increased by nudging visitors down the sales funnel
  • Overall marketing strategy will be strengthened – you can do the promo stuff too (we’d suggest an 80/20 split in favour of content marketing)

It may seem that you’re giving away all you know, but that’s far from the truth. By demonstrating what you know, your customers will trust your solution and choose you over the competition.

3. Explain that content marketing sets you apart from the crowd

A good collection of online content, that answers specific questions from your audience, makes you stand out amongst your competitors.

It offers visitors a benefit they can’t get elsewhere, simply by providing a blog, guide, video (or something else entirely).

Using additional content is the best way to transform your product, no matter how ordinary, into something completely different.

For example, instead of just posting product pages about toothpaste, Colgate has an entire “oral care center” full of content to help customers clean their teeth. This sets Colgate apart, as a brand that really cares about its customers’ well-being and provides value.

Now’s probably a good time to mention what your competitors are doing. If your boss hears that your rivals are using these techniques, chances are he or she will want to try and beat them at their own game!

4. Show how it will help win new customers and build trust

By using content marketing techniques, you’re more likely to get discovered by the right audience. This is because social shares and the use of the right keywords causes traffic to your site to soar!

Provide case studies within your industry to demonstrate this if you can, if not find some supporting statistics to help you out. (One of our favourites is that content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic).

Then chuck in those two marketing buzzwords; ‘authority’ and ‘thought-leader‘ – and your boss will respond!

Explain how creating more content will establish you as a credible, authoritative resource on topics that matter to potential customers and will earn their loyalty and trust. Prolonged use of content marketing techniques will strengthen relationships, grow an active and engaged subscriber base and increase profits – who could refuse that?

5. Have specific ideas in mind

Don’t be vague. Ensure you have specific content ideas in mind; blog titles, email series, guides to produce etc.

Explain the impact each might have in precise detail, and why you think it’s such a good idea. Try to get your boss excited about your suggestions and ask for their input where appropriate.

6. Be upfront about its potential pitfalls

Whatever you do, don’t pretend that content marketing is a fix-all or easy solution. Outline the potential problems and how you might combat them. For example:

Content marketing demands resources:

We all know that creating a steady stream of top-notch content takes time, effort and patience.

Compile estimates on budget and other resources you’ll need in advance of your meeting, and create a workflow process to ensure efficiency.

Luckily, content marketing can be relatively inexpensive. It costs 62% less than outbound marketing, but generates three times as many leads – pretty good, right?

You may not get it right first time:

Failure is an almost inevitable part of content marketing, so you need to emphasise that this is part of the learning curve and that it will get better.

ROI is not explicit:

With content marketing, you never see ROI right away, and when you do it might be difficult to attribute.

It’s tough because the content acts as part of the journey, but is rarely the thing that pushes a visitor to purchase.

To combat this, present current analytics data to your boss, suggest the goals you have and show how you will measure the impact of your content marketing efforts. This will show that some aspects are measurable, and is certainly worth trying.

Hopefully, you can now corner your boss and explain why content marketing is so darn fantastic! We know you’ve got what it takes – good luck!